Records of closed-door meetings show the government is considering significant concessions as it tries to work out a voluntary agreement with automakers to implement automatic braking systems for passenger cars.
Key takeaways on the private talks:
—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration thinks automatic braking systems should be standard in new cars. It's the most important safety technology available that's not already required in cars.
—NHTSA is trying work out a voluntary agreement with automakers in hopes of getting the technology into cars more quickly than going through a time-consuming rule-making process.
—Minutes of meetings between NHTSA officials and automakers obtained by The Associated Press show timelines under discussion for including the technology in 95 percent of vehicles for model years that begin in September 2022 or September 2025.
—Consumer groups are worried that a voluntary agreement won't be enforceable and will result in weaker standards than if the government issued rules.
—The minutes show that automakers want braking systems that reduce speed by as little as 5 mph before a collision to qualify under an agreement.
—Safety groups have filed a petition asking NHTSA to issue regulations instead of pursuing a voluntary agreement.
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